It’s a brand-new year—and for some of us, that means new projects with old friends. Rescue Story is a YouTube channel with a penchant for vintage Jawas from the 1960s, among other two- and three-wheeled relics. To start the year off right, he got right to work on this two-stroke Jawa machine. It’s a good thing that he did, because whew, it’s clearly been sitting outside for a very long time.
Despite the initial impressions of rust and sadness, it appears that the bike underneath it all is in pretty solid shape. Surface grime and oxidation can be solved pretty easily, with some elbow grease, cleaning equipment, chemicals, and of course a bunch of hand tools to take things apart and really get in there. We’ll probably never know how on earth that giant chunk got taken out of the rear tire, but since it’s clearly going to need to be replaced, it’s also probably not the biggest issue in the world.
In this video, RS methodically starts to take the bike apart, organizing the constituent parts by which system they belong to so he can attack each bit in a sensible manner. Have any of the bearings ever been touched since this bike came from the factory in what was then Czechoslovakia? That’s another thing we might never know. However, if they were previously replaced, some of the ones that we get a good look at actually have a stamp on them that clearly reads “Czechoslovakia,” so at least it seems likely that OEM parts were used.
Once all the parts are off the bike and the engine is out of the frame, it’s time to start taking the engine apart—which is mostly what this particular video is about. Given the neglected state of the rest of the bike, the inside of the engine isn’t anywhere near the horror show you might be expecting. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clearly in need of some cleaning, repair, and replacement of consumable parts, but it’s not awful. So, RS gets to work, doing exactly what needs doing—no high-pitched Cryptkeeper narration necessary.
From cleaning up some gunked-up threads on locating dowels with the appropriate die, to replacing the old bearings and repacking them with fresh grease, it’s seemingly a matter of ticking each little job off the list to complete the bigger project. Possibly the most impressive part of this video is how nicely the engine cases clean up. Under all the grime and gunk, the metal is mostly very solid, except for some serious gouges from whatever adventures the previous owner may have had.
Using a whole lot of sanding discs of various grits, as well as polishes, RS eventually manages to coax the shiny, bright, slightly mirror-like gleam out of those cases once more. Once all the engine internals are cleaned up and reassembled, along with new gaskets, they’re ready to go back on in their new and improved guise. The cooling fins on the cylinders and the cylinder heads themselves also get a little TLC to bring out their best, and the entire engine shines like a gem in the snow when it’s finally back together. Now for the rest of this old Jawa—but that will have to wait till the next video.